How well does Porzingis's game translate to the NBA? (Getty Images)
How well does Porzingis’s game translate to the NBA? (Getty Images)

Kristaps Porzingis (Latvia, @kporzee)

Power Forward-Center/7’1/220/Age: 19

Baloncesto Sevilla via Ventspils, Latvia

Quick Stats

10.3 points/game, 4.5 rebounds, 0.5 assists/game

It’s very difficult to pin a comparison for Latvia’s Kristaps Porzingis. On the surface, his energy and potential to impact multiple areas resembles Andrei Kirilenko but his ceiling seems to be a bit higher. At 7’1, 220 pounds, he is mobile enough to impact games as a shot-blocker but is also skilled enough to hit shots from the perimeter on offense.

A back to the basket game likely will not come until he adds more strength but he is more able to play the four at this point anyway. That said, Porzingis is a long-term project who definitely holds the unofficial claim of “Prospect Most Likely to Get A GM Fired (or Praised).” If a high-lottery team is both willing to wait and has nice complementary pieces around him, the tremendous gamble could pay off big time.

Strengths:

-Elite size (7’1) mixed with skill and and a nice offensive repertoire; very mobile 7-footer with some guard skills; best NBA skill is shooting ability

-Pretty good footwork and lateral quickness, particularly at his size

-Projects as a good shot-blocker and rebounder in a few years

Kristaps Porzingis Prospect

Weaknesses:

-The quicker he adds strength, the greater his potential; coaches might nudge him to play out of his comfort zone (shooting, facing up) if he gets stronger later on in his career

-Does not crash the glass as often as he should; gets boxed out far too easily

-Will struggle defensively; quicker fours could take him off the dribble & stronger centers might bully him in the post

D.O.G. Status: Porzingis is a classic “boom or bust” player. His physical tools and skill set generate much excitement but he could just as easily struggle to adjust to the NBA game and lifestyle. Being drafted in the correct situation will likely tell the story of how far Porzingis will go.

NBA Comparison: Andrei Kirilenko (better upside)

#DOFGAME #DOG

-Jabari J.

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